Ambassador Degnan’s Remarks to Media at the Ministry of Health

It was a pleasure to meet with Minister Azarashvili and his new Deputy today to talk about the COVID situation in Georgia, but also many other issues–important issues that are covered by this Minister. The United States for 30 years has worked very closely with the Georgian Ministry of Health on public health issues, including Hepatitis C elimination, immunization programs, improving health care for mothers and children, and in general, improving the capacity of Georgia’s public health care system. One thing I would like to say: we discussed the COVID situation and the steep increase in cases here in Georgia over the last two weeks, and I would just want to urge Georgians again: get vaccinated, get a booster shot. This has been shown throughout the world to be safe and very effective and to save lives.  We look at 15,000 Georgians who have lost their lives to COVID. It’s so important to get your loved ones and yourselves vaccinated, so I hope Georgians will go out and do that. The Ministry has got some excellent programs to make that very easy for Georgians to access good health care, and easily access vaccination. Again, it’s the safest and most effective way to protect yourself against COVID. We also work with the Ministry in a number of other areas, including improving the labor situation for workers, and of course, improving the situation for IDPs and those from the Occupied Territories. So, the United States looks forward to continuing our long, strong partnership with the Ministry of Health. We have 30 years of good work behind us, and we look forward to many more in the years to come.